Midnight Rising: John Brown and the Raid That Sparked the Civil War

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Henry Holt and Company, Oct 25, 2011 - History - 384 pages
22 Reviews

A New York Times Notable Book for 2011
A Library Journal Top Ten Best Books of 2011
A Boston Globe Best Nonfiction Book of 2011

Bestselling author Tony Horwitz tells the electrifying tale of the daring insurrection that put America on the path to bloody war

Plotted in secret, launched in the dark, John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry was a pivotal moment in U.S. history. But few Americans know the true story of the men and women who launched a desperate strike at the slaveholding South. Now, Midnight Rising portrays Brown's uprising in vivid color, revealing a country on the brink of explosive conflict.

Brown, the descendant of New England Puritans, saw slavery as a sin against America's founding principles. Unlike most abolitionists, he was willing to take up arms, and in 1859 he prepared for battle at a hideout in Maryland, joined by his teenage daughter, three of his sons, and a guerrilla band that included former slaves and a dashing spy. On October 17, the raiders seized Harpers Ferry, stunning the nation and prompting a counterattack led by Robert E. Lee. After Brown's capture, his defiant eloquence galvanized the North and appalled the South, which considered Brown a terrorist. The raid also helped elect Abraham Lincoln, who later began to fulfill Brown's dream with the Emancipation Proclamation, a measure he called "a John Brown raid, on a gigantic scale."

Tony Horwitz's riveting book travels antebellum America to deliver both a taut historical drama and a telling portrait of a nation divided—a time that still resonates in ours.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - crazy4reading - LibraryThing

I'm not sure but this book just wasn't one that I was interested in. I listened to the audio book and still didn't find it all that interesting. This book was for our book club and even though we haven't met yet a lot of the members felt it was like reading a text book. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Daniel.Estes - LibraryThing

My grandfather grew up in Osawatomie, Kansas during the Great Depression, and his recollection was that John Brown was a crazy loon. No doubt this was the consensus gossip from generations of ... Read full review

Contents

Prologue October 16 1859
1
PART ONE THE ROAD TO HARPERS FERRY
7
PART TWO INTO AFRICA
95
PART THREE THEY WILL BROWN US ALL
189
Epilogue Immortal Raiders
272
Appendix
291
Authors Note
293
Notes
295
Selected Bibliography
341
Acknowledgments
345
Illustration Credits
348
Index
351
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

Tony Horwitz is the bestselling author of Midnight Rising, A Voyage Long and Strange, Blue Latitudes, Confederates in the Attic, and Baghdad Without a Map. He is also a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who has worked for The Wall Street Journal and The New Yorker. He lives in Martha's Vineyard with his wife, Geraldine Brooks, and their two sons.

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